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Are Lasers The Answer To Completely Wireless Computing And Charging?

By May 5, 2018June 8th, 2022Technology News

Researchers at the University of Washington just might change the face of computers and computing forever.  It may seem like the stuff of science fiction, but based on their research, the day may soon be coming when computing devices are completely un-tethered, requiring no wires for either power or recharging.

The team was able to successfully charge a smartphone from across a room using nothing more than lasers.  Right now, their approach has an effective range of about forty feet.  Devices are detected by way of acoustic “chirps” which occur below the threshold of human hearing.  Once a target device is located, the laser charging system sends power to them using laser light, with no damage to the target device.

Right now, the power transfer is limited to just a couple of watts. However, the researchers don’t see any obstacles that would prevent scaling of the power transfer, meaning it could easily be modified to power PCs.

Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) is not a new idea.  In fact, it’s in use today in such things as smartphones and electric toothbrushes.  The problem, at least until now, has been a matter of range, which has been virtually nonexistent until the University’s game-changing experiments.

The big breakthrough wasn’t in sending power to a device via laser.  Scientists have known that was possible for quite some time.  The issue though, was that when lasers (or microwaves) were used to send power, they were invariably hazardous to humans in the area. In addition, they often fried the electronics they were attempting to power.  The research team seems to have solved for both of those problems.

While the technology is still quite some distance from being commercially available, this is a huge leap forward.  This could forever change the way we interact with our computing devices, and that change could come much sooner than anyone ever imagined.

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.